Played with Zultar yesterday on one of his streams. Watching the playback I noticed something unusual.
Early on there was an auction for teleportation which Asimov wins for $72,000 (OmarLittle).
Later on after Asimov has already been bought out Zultar (Wells) decides to research Teleportation and it is available to be researched.
He was successfully able to research a patent that shouldn't have been available. The same thing happens with slant drilling later on (which was an early auction that went to someone else but zultar was still able to research it very late in the game).
The common thread in this is that after a player gets bought out in beta 4 it looks like all his patents disappear and become available to be researched again. I knew 2 of the patents I wanted were already gone so I didn't bother to build a patent lab.
Was that on purpose with beta 4? If so I liked it the old way where as soon as a patent was researched by someone else it's gone.